Increasing need for mental health support
MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES can affect anyone and the thin line between the ability to cope and buckling under the pressure must not be taken for granted.
Pastor David Walkes, of the Ephesus Seventh-Day Adventist Church, made this point while addressing a service held at the Psychiatric Hospital to launch Mental Health Month on Sunday.
“Everyone is at risk of mental health issues at any time or another. Once before the pressures of work and school could be partitioned by time and place . . . . Now our work environment extends right into our homes, right into our bedroom, right into every part of our private life,” he said.
Walkes said in the cyberworld, where deadlines were measured in minutes, where the push of a button or an expected response on Facebook or Twitter could make the difference between success and failure, friendship and enmity, people were under a lot of pressure.
“We are constantly in need of reality checks so we do not push ourselves to the brink of our ability to cope. When we no longer cope, when we do not have the capacity to cope, we will find ourselves in need of mental health support.”
Therefore he emphasised the role God and the church, psychosocial therapy and family played in complementing the work done by the Psychiatric Hospital.
The theme for this year is Living With Schizophrenia, and deputy chairman of the National Mental Health Commission, Dr Ermine Belle, said people living with schizophrenia needed to be treated like those suffering any other illness – it was just a consequence of chemical imbalance just like other illnesses.
Belle said no longer should a schizophrenia diagnosis mean degeneration into despair, but it was treatable.
She stressed that families should not reject the individual as had been the custom, because even though medication could help, it could not substitute for the family support needed for a full or meaningful recovery. (LK)